A excellent and well researched book which gained my attention throughout. Although fiction, it is believable and there are no 'dull' parts to it. I found it quite easy to align with the main character, Heinrick Muller, and with many of the decisions he makes at various turns in the book's journey. The author clearly has much talent to write such a varied range of books to date. Without doubt this is his best book and would surely be receiving higher acclaim if it was written by one of the better known authors.
by Ray Fuller
Book most enjoyable. Subject interesting and reader is empathetic to characters.
by Dorothy Emslie
A considerable amount of research has clearly gone into this excellent book. The characters all come across as real, believable people and the various unexpected twists and turns of the plot made it very hard to put down, with the climax of the plot being particularly gripping. The author is obviously a keen musician and train enthusiast, but any reader who may not share either of these particular interests with him will still find it a most enjoyable read from beginning to end.
by John Petley
The Music of Freedom is a gripping tale that holds the readers attention from the start.
Heinreich, the accidental hero, finds himself playing an instrumental part in engineering the escape of two musically gifted Jewish children from war torn Europe.
Trains, boats, and a less orthodox form of transport ensure nearly all are are brought to safety - but not before many a heart stopping moment along the way.
Memorable characters abound, not all of them are human.... A good read!
by Margaret Gentry
I chose The Music of Freedom to read in a sickroom and was not disappointed. Peter Ward is an author whose work I am familiar with. His writing is luminous and he handles the description of real and fictional characters in a finely balanced way. The villainous, terrifying SS characters are believable. Although there is a plethora of documented horror elsewhere, the story is more concerned with understanding the way terror can build and infect a whole nation in which ordinary people are pressed into service. The story moves at a good pace helped by a page turning picaresque style supported by a strong sense of place within the writing.
Peter Ward writes eloquently, sharing his love of the classics in the Arts and in buildings. He also gives us two main characters who struggle and yet succeed in giving us a strong moral compass to set alongside the appalling actions of the Nazi occupiers.
A good, thrilling read.
by Michael Head
Peter Ward’s The Music of Freedom is an enjoyable page-turner set in Nazi-occupied Austria. A young violinist finds himself recruited by Hermann Goering to accompany him on his private “special train”, laden with a cargo of looted art, on a journey to Paris. His task is to catalogue, en route, the stolen artworks, but he is persuaded by a receptionist at Salzburg’s Schloss Leopoldskron to smuggle on board a precious human cargo, under the very noses of the Nazi high command. Several of the characters in the book are real people – Goering, Hitler and Leopold Stokowski feature prominently – and in England we are introduced to Hess. No, not Rudolf: this being a book about music as well as war, it is Dame Myra, who plays her part in redeeming the past. The train (a DRG Class 01 Pacific, described in loving detail) plays a key role in the story, and then there is Bimperl, a stuffed toy dog who is elevated to the status of war hero. All in all, a nicely turned tale which occupied me happily for the duration of a transatlantic flight.
by David Scott Cowan
A splendid page-turner, this is an ingenious and moving tale by a versatile author.
by David Palmer
I found Peter Ward's book to be entertaining and it totally gripped me such that I read it in two days. Reminiscent of other thrillers, there were many different plots and themes but through it all runs the question of how successful will Heinrich Muller, the book's principal character, be in his challenges? This was a real page-turner, easy to read and well researched in subjects as diverse as music, Salzburg, the German WWII High Command, Brittany and England in the early days of the War.
by James Dubois
A fast moving novel set initially in Salzburg where we first meet two talented young Jewish musicians. In this beautifully researched book we learn of the workings of Hiitler’s great plan to dominate Europe and eradicate the Jews. Can a young German musician wounded in battle and awarded a medal for bravery, rescue the innocent children and take them to safety right under the noses of the high ranking Nazi commanders. A brilliant read, a real page turner.